By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's onward-to-the-stars department
writes with news that NASA scientists have tested the EmDrive
, which claims to use quantum vacuum plasma
for propulsion. Theoretically improbable, but perhaps possible after all. If it does work, it would eliminate the need for expendable fuel (just add electricity). From the article:Either the results are completely wrong, or NASA has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion. A working microwave thruster would radically cut the cost of satellites and space stations and extend their working life, drive deep-space missions, and take astronauts to Mars in weeks rather than months. ... [According to the researchers] "Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma."
Skepticism is certainly warranted: NASA researchers were only able to produce about 1/1000th of the force the Chinese researchers reported. But they were careful to avoid false sensor readings, so something
is going on. The paper declined to comment on what that could be, leaving the physics of the system an open problem.Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's everything-you-own-must-now-connect-to-the-internet department
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime
developers at Apple. He left in 2002 to help found a startup called Kinoma
, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor
, whose management kept it as a separate entity.
, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link
)Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's note-the-passive-voice-and-weasel-words department
writes with this story from the Guardian: The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the
agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, called RDINet, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture."
(Sen. Diane Feinstein was one of those vocally accusing the CIA of spying on Congress
; Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised a similar question about the NSA
.)Read Replies (0)